During lockdown Tim sent me a care package from the US with some goodies for my various streaming projects. Such as trying to get my Commodore 128 and/or RetroPie to stream through OBS cleanly. Lockdown was lifted in Italy in late May which was well before I got a chance to play with all the various toys, but I recently began exploring the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable (C875) (or LGP for short) when Tommy asked me about streaming the Nintendo Switch to Twitch. And while more of a theoretical question on his part (he has long since moved on), it was all I needed to send me down a very productive rabbit hole.
While this is a fairly brief (for me) 9 minute video about the AVerMedia video capture card, it’s not all that good. There are a few glaring errors, such as suggesting the Time Shift option in the AVerMedia software RECentral enables you to correct for lag rather than what it actually does: provide a temporary copy of your recording so that you can quickly capture snippets of your gameplay. So, keep in mind that I’m an unreliable narrator at best, a full-blown fraud at worst.*
Anyway, the LGP capture card is a HDMI/Component video pass-through that allows you to capture the incoming signal from a device (usually a gaming console). You can also plug in a microphone to record any commentary directly on top of the video being captured. I’ve not played with the audio recording feature given I’m already doing that in in OBS, but that would be a fun experiment. You have two options for storing the recording, directly to your PC via the software RECentral or you can record without connecting to a PC directly on the LGP’s SD card. One word of caution is that the SD card you use matters, I lost a day trying to troubleshoot why my SD recording feature wouldn’t work only to learn that only certain cards work and they must be formatted in FAT32. I recommend this Reddit post listing the compatible cards.
Once I got the PC-free recording on the SD card working I tested it out with my RetroPie, and you can see the results above. This game of Pac-man was played on a Sony Trinitron TV and it was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately the recording is directly from the RetroPie, so you’ll have to take my word on the CRT afterglow. Nonetheless, the capture looks excellent, and I was afraid there was an issue given the sound was slightly out of sync, but turns out that’s true when playing Pacman on the RetroPie normally, so all is well.
I have more to write about my various experimentations when actually streaming the RetroPie to OBS on ds106.tv, but I’ll save that for another post.
*Acknowledging as much, I’m still not too concerned because this is all part of a larger attempt to get better at producing videos like this, and part of that is technical (figuring out capture cards, cameras, lighting, streaming software, etc.), but just as much is being prepared with focused information—needless to say both elements need work. 🙂